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Why Teach Kids Sign Language?

At My Place Early Learning Center, we provide an interactive language curriculum that allows your child to learn basic and conversational words in sign language. But why do we teach kids sign language? Here are some reasons why sign language is an important skill for children to learn.

Sign language helps infants build their communication skills

According to developmental psychologist Kelly Yost Abrams, PhD, using signs and gestures supports an infant’s language development. Simple signs can be taught to enhance verbal language. For example, you can teach an infant the signs for “eat,” or “more” by clearly speaking the word while using the sign. This helps your infant build communication skills even at a very early age.

Sign language improves a child’s attention and focus

Many of us are used to speaking and listening to someone else speak. However, teaching a child sign language encourages them to pay attention to what the other person in the conversation is signing, and to focus on signing back. This can improve attention and focus overall.

Sign language boosts a child’s cognitive skills

Teaching a child to sign can help improve their cognitive skills in a few different areas. According to Dr. Linda Acredolo, co-founder of the Baby Signs Institute, children who learned sign language at an early age achieved higher-than-average SAT scores. In addition, a study by Pennsylvania University found that children who were taught sign had higher reading levels and a 15-20% improvement in their vocabulary. Teaching kids sign language can also enhance their reasoning skills, problem-solving skills, and memory.

Sign language enhances a child’s emotional intelligence

Sign language is another way for children to express their emotions and communicate with others. By connecting the signed words to the person’s body language and facial expressions, children develop empathy for what the other person is feeling. In addition, when young children are taught signed words for feelings such as “hurt,” “tired,” “happy,” or others, they are empowered to express themselves with greater range. They learn how to identify and classify their own emotions better, which will help them express themselves and empathize with others.

Childhood is a great time to learn sign language, and these are just a few of the reasons we help kids learn basic and conversational words at My Place.

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